SAP discussion platform focuses on COVID-19 solutions

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 21 Apr 2020

SAP, in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), has introduced the SAP Purpose Network, a virtual platform of discussions focusing on solutions to help combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The SAP Purpose Network is a virtual platform that connects change-makers who are committed to addressing the complexities caused by COVID-19.

As the impact of the outbreak reverberates across the globe, it has claimed the lives of over 171 000 people, with a current infection rate of over 2.4 million, with recoveries at more than 656 000.

The pandemic is having a profound impact on societies, including challenges around reliable information-sharing and education, with school closures affecting more than 1.5 billion students across the planet.

The first Africa-led SAP Purpose Network virtual session, taking place today from 5.30pm to 6.30pm, will also discuss the findings and insights gained from the recent CodeTheCurve hackathon that was co-hosted by SAP, IBM and UNESCO .

"Solving this unprecedented global crisis will require the collective expertise and imagination of all of us," says Audrey Azoulay, director-general of UNESCO.

“We know that there are young women and men around the world with new and innovative ideas on how technology can help us handle the pandemic, but they need support to bring them to fruition. Through this hackathon, in association with our partners, we hope to help make these ideas a reality.”

The SAP Purpose Network focuses on specific themes, including responsible business, health and wellbeing, everyday heroes, work from home, and the world after COVID-19. It shares insights and solutions into challenges related to youth skills development, youth innovation, responses to COVID-19 and how public-private partnerships can support the achievement of key sustainable development goals.

Speakers for the first virtual session include Alexandra van der Ploeg, SAP head of global CSR; Sunil Geness, SAP Africa head of government relations; Mustapha Diyaol Haqq, Africa Code Week youth ambassador; Melissa Sassi, global head of IBM Z Global Student Hub and IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator; and Davide Storti, coordinator of the YouthMobile Initiative at UNESCO.

Additional sessions will follow in the next few weeks.

"The platform offers virtual conversations to connect with like-minded individuals, and stimulates the exchange of ideas to support the initiatives presented by various organisations in the hopes to lay the foundation for a more sustainable future,” says Kwena Mabotja, regional director for purpose and brand experience at SAP Africa.

“In light of the ongoing disruption and uncertainty brought by the global pandemic, discussions will focus on innovation for COVID-19 and will seek to highlight innovative thinking and ideas around how organisations can develop sustainable strategies for dealing with the fallout from the coronavirus."

The hosting of the first Africa-led virtual session coincides with the United Nations World Creativity and Innovation Day, which aims to raise global awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in all aspects of human development.

Registrations are open to all members of the public. To register, click here and sign-up for the SAP Purpose Network Live Platform and join the conversation.